War, Rebellion and Civil Strife

The Lucan tram was the only service in Dublin to keep running during the Easter Rasing of 1916. A fact that was referred to in an advertising post card issued by the Spa Hotel, which read:

"This district has been favoured with a unique experience during the rising. It remained absolutely free from local disturbance, and owing to the energy and resource of Mr. Grosart, the manager, the Dublin and Lucan Electric Railway continued its service without interruption. The village and the Spa Hotel were crowded with visitors from all parts of Ireland, many of whom took refuge there when returning from Fairyhouse Races and other holiday resorts in the West and South. Despite the great demands made on the resources of the hotel, which was simply packed, all wants there were met. In fact 'peace and plenty' reigned in Lucan, disturbed only by the boom of the distant guns in the city and the glare at night of the conflagrations." Freeman's Journal 9th May 1916.

The Lucan tram was to be commemorated in an unique fashion, in the early 1920's Jack B. Yeats had turned his attention to images of the 'New Ireland'. One of the subjects he selected was trams, which he saw as an illustration of modem urban living. "In the Tram " painted in 1923, shows two young women gossiping with an older woman in the corner of the Lucan Tram. In the background can be seen the wall of the Phoenix Park. When first exhibited Yeats titled this picture "In the Lucan Tram " or the "Merry Wives of Lucan".

The Civil War with its disruption of traffic was to have a dramatic effect on the operation of both the Lucan and Blessington services. In fact it was the straw that broke the camel's back For some years there had been a steady decline in income, which had not been helped by the competition from motor bus services. These were able to offer the passengers a direct service to the City centre without the inconvenience of having to change vehicles. Coupled with this was the need to replace ageing stock.

This lead to discussions by both companies with the Great Southern Railway and Dublin United Tramways to take over the companies. When these talks failed the Lucan line was bankrupt. Not withstanding passenger figures of 405,363 for 1923 it was announced at the end of December 1924 that the line was closing. The last service of the Dublin and Lucan Electric Railway left each terminus at 10.15 pm on 29th January 1925.

The Blessington line managed to keep going for another seven years but eventually it too had to bow to the inevitable. On Saturday 311st December 1932 the last tram to Blessington left Terenure.

After a period of forty-one years these two tramways, which had serviced the outlying areas of South County Dublin, had come to the end of the line. However, the Lucan area was to get a short-lived reprieve. After years of negotiation between the Civil Authorities and Dublin United Tramways the Lucan railway was absorbed into the company. Rebuilding started in 1927 on a new track with a gauge of 5' 3". The line was opened to Chapelizod on the 14th May 1928. Within ten years of the re-opening it was decided to replace trams with buses. On the 14th April 1940 double-decker buses took over the route. Most of the track way was sold to Hammond Lane Metal Company where it was acquired by the Great Southern Railway and re-laid in their lines at Clonakilty and in the Limerick-Newcastle West area.

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